Praying for Your Spouse

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A few years ago, I picked up the book “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian and found it to be a great blessing in my life and in my marriage.  Practical wisdom and 30 prayers to pray give a way to daily offer your spouse to the Lord.  (There is also “The Power of a Praying Husband” available)

The last sentence of the first prayer caught me off guard.  “Give my husband a new wife, and let it be me.”  These prayers are not about manipulating, controlling, or trying to change your spouse, but about you surrendering to God and receiving grace to be the spouse God wants you to be.   Your heart is softened and prepared to love as God loves.   The prayers are not about “Lord, change him (or her)” but Lord, change me!

Praying for your spouse is the ultimate love language and you will reap great rewards from the sacrifice of your prayers.  This doesn’t mean that you will have the perfect marriage and everything will be wonderful, but that your heart will come alive in a new way as you submit to God and be the spouse God has called you to be.  I highly recommend this book and praying these prayers for everyone who is married!

(Last paragraph of the first prayer)  “Make me a new person, Lord.  Give me a fresh perspective, a positive outlook, and a renewed relationship with the man you’ve given me.  Help me see him with new eyes, new appreciation, new love, new compassion and new acceptance.  Give my husband a new wife, and let it be me.”

Praying for Adult Children

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My oldest moved out in January, the beginning of transition for our family!  When our kids are little, we sometimes think if we can just get them “launched”, then everything is going to be okay.  But the reality is our concerns for our children never end as long as we have breath!  As they transition to adulthood, we have less influence over their daily lives and it can feel out of control.  We might realize mistakes we’ve made and have regrets.  The good news is that Jesus redeems all things.  We can stand in confidence in Him for their lives even when they are out from under our roof.

We can’t “fix” our adult children or ensure they have the “perfect” life.  They will experience the ups and downs and the consequences of their actions.  Sometimes it might feel unbearable to watch.  But we can have confidence that God has a way through.  How did we learn and grow closer to the Lord?  Through the challenges we faced!

Never give up!  Don’t let the enemy lie to you even when moments seem the darkest and your child furthest away from the Lord.  Know that God is always drawing them and that He who began a good work, will complete it!

I highly recommend Stormie Omartian’s book “The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children” to give you specific encouragement in how to turn worry for children into powerful prayers.  With God, nothing is impossible!

Praying for Our Children

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Worrying about our children comes as naturally to a parent as breathing.  We are concerned about this issue or that character trait in them.  We fear what might happen to them – accidents, trauma, abuse.  We worry about their grades, their peer relationships, their physical development.  And most of all, we desire our children to grow in their relationship with the Lord and to follow Him.  When we focus on the potential problems (or the real life ones!) we pray from a place of fear instead of trust.

One of the best resources I’ve found is the book by Stormie Omartian – “The Power of a Praying Parent”, a practical guide to praying for our children.

God loves our children more than we do.  He already has a beautiful plan for their lives and He sees the end from the beginning.  My first place in pray is to remind myself of this and to again place them in His hands.  He’s happy to discuss the problems and battles they face with us if we will stop our worry long enough to listen to what He has to say.  My worry accomplishes nothing and actually becomes a stumbling block to loving dialogue with Jesus.

Because His thoughts are higher than my thoughts and very different from what I would naturally think, I have to be still enough to hear Him speak and trust His ways, even if an immediate change doesn’t happen.  I can trust Him for the long haul.

It’s hard when our children are not “perfect” like we’d like (but then, neither are we!!!)  We make mistakes and so do they.  Have grace for yourself as a parent and have grace for them.  Trust God as you commit them to His care.

In a challenging season with your child?  Take heart.  Cast your cares on God and rest in His loving care of them.  Get the book “The Power of a Praying Parent” and regularly contend for your children with faith-filled prayers as you partner with God for the best plans He has for them.

Aug 4, 2014 - 101-150, Everyday Prayers    No Comments

Facebook Prayers

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Some time ago I read in Guidepost Magazine about a woman who used Facebook for her prayers.  Each day she would pick a friend and post a prayer for them.  What a great way to use social media in a positive way!

It doesn’t take a lot of time and yet is such a blessing to the person who reads it.  When you post it on their timeline, others also get to see it and be blessed.  Who knows the ripple effect of your prayers?  There’s a lot of garbage out there on social media. Let’s take a moment and redeem it!  Who are you going to bless today?

The Love Cycle Prayer

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I did it again!  To be honest, it happens more often than I’d like.  I get into “doing” and forget my source is found in sitting at Jesus’ feet and receiving from Him.  Too often we operate in our own strength, gifts or abilities instead of learning the flow of taking in God’s love first.

I can’t love anyone.  It’s impossible.  I don’t have what it takes and neither do you.  Whenever I try, I get burned out, striving to love someone, pushing to accept myself.  It doesn’t work.  I can’t even love God.

The good news is, Scripture tells us, “We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.  When I first receive His love, then I can love Him in return.  As I experience His love and acceptance of me, even in my weakness and brokenness, I come into agreement with what He thinks of me.  I learn to love His beautiful creation, me.  Now I can love others because I know that just as God sees the treasure in me, He gives me grace to see that same treasure in others, no matter how buried under “junk” it might be.  This is what I call the love cycle –

Receive God’s Love – Love Him in return – Love myself as He does – Love others

When I operate in this, it’s amazing how much easier life flows.  I give up striving, trying, pushing to love and simply receive.  The rest follows naturally.  Here’s a section of the FELLOWSHIP prayer (see previous blog) that follows the love cycle.  Consider incorporating it into your daily prayers!  See what a difference it can make!

L – Love:  Father, pour out Your love into my heart by releasing the influences of the Spirit to give me revelation of Your love for me, that it may overflow in love back to You and to others.

“The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…” Rom 5:5

“I pray, that your love may abound still more…in knowledge and all discernment.” Phil 1:9

“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God…” 2 Thes 3:5

Father, impart Your love for Jesus in my heart (Jn 17:26).  I agree with Jesus’ prophecy (Mt 22:37) to receive grace to love God with all my heart and soul and mind.

“…That the love with which You loved Me may be in them….” Jn 17:26

“You shall love the Lord…with all your heart…soul…and mind.” Mt 22:37

Father, allow me to comprehend Jesus’ love for me and to abide in it (stay connected to it).

“That you…may be able to comprehend…what is the width and length and depth and height…to know (experience) the love (affection) of Christ…” Eph 3:18-19

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” Jn 15:9

Let me see and love myself through Your eyes.  Thank you for who I am to You.

“You formed my inward parts: You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought.”  Ps 139:13-15

Father, I agree with Jesus’ command and prophecy in Mt 22:39 that I will love others.  Let me abound in love by seeing what You see and feeling what You feel about others.

“…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mt 22:39

“May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another.” 1 Thes 3:12

 

 

Willpower Prayer

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Recently, I read some research studies that indicate we have a limited amount of willpower and that it can be “exhausted”.  I wrestled with this concept, believing God can give us the strength to say “no” or “yes” in every situation.  I could see in the natural how it does work.  Kids seem to know this about parents when they constantly ask for this or that until the parent finally gives in.

Then I felt the Lord reveal that He has given us just enough willpower to choose Him.  If we had unlimited willpower in and of ourselves, we’d be the best Pharisees around, making consistently good decisions in our own power.  But God didn’t create us like that.  He created us for relationship and partnership with Him.  We need Him.

This means that each day I submit my will to God, give Him rulership in my life.  Then when decisions need to be made, I simply ask Him and then obey.

We weary ourselves out when it comes to decision making.  “Should I exercise today?  I really should.  But I don’t feel like it right now and don’t have the time.”  We go on and on, weighing the pros and cons, exhausting our ability to decide.  But when we simply ask Jesus what we should do and listen for His still small voice, we flow in our day with Him.  Our natural tendency is to think, “Jesus will always make me do what I don’t want to.  He will make me exercise.”  And yet, when we understand His true nature and love for us, He only wants what is best for us.  Many times that might be exercise and He can give us the strength and joy in it.  But other times, He might say, “Rest, My Child.  Be refreshed in My love.  Read a book instead.”

Of course, those things we already know are not a part of His will — deliberate sin, we simply say to Him, “I know this not something You have for me.  Give me the strength to resist this temptation.”

When our kids are demanding this or that, instead of getting frustrated with saying “no” over and over, ask Jesus how He wants you to respond to your children.  He might have a totally different approach you’d never thought of.  He might show you the need your child has for your attention which is prompting the behavior and how to reveal His love to them.

Start each morning giving your will to the Lord, then let Him direct the many decisions you need to make each day.

“Dearest Father, today I give you my will.  I choose You!  Speak to me today in every situation I face, how to flow with Your Spirit.  I find joy in partnering with you in every decision I make today, big or small.  Thank you for giving me the strength to resist every temptation in Your power and might, in Jesus’ name.”

Jul 14, 2014 - 101-150, Corporate Prayer    No Comments

Rapid Fire Prayer

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Rapid fire prayer is similar to “popcorn” prayer but with more organization.  It is typically used in a House of Prayer setting, but can be used at any corporate gathering.  The leader asks those who would like to pray short, 10-20 second prayers to form a line at the front.  The topic is chosen by the leader and clearly communicated.  Then they lead off, demonstrating short, on-topic prayer.  In a house of prayer setting, usually 4-5 people pray and then a chorus is sung.  This pattern continues until all who desire have prayed.

This is a great way to activate many people to pray.  When they don’t feel pressured to pray a long prayer, they are often more willing to participate.  It keeps the energy and focus in the room going as different people pray.

Used to prayer meetings where just a few people pray long prayers while others just observe?  Increase participation by trying this model!

Jul 7, 2014 - 101-150, Corporate Prayer    2 Comments

“Popcorn” Prayers

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Remember the fascination of watching Jiffy Pop Popcorn poof up as you held it over the stove?  The delicious smell and taste of freshly popped popcorn?  And what does it have to do with prayer?

“Popcorn” prayers refers to short, spontaneous bursts of prayer in a group setting.  Often there is no theme and each person prays whatever comes to mind or heart.  This works great for those with ADD or who like variety and value spontaneity.  However, particularly for the list intercessor (see blog on types of intercessors), this form of prayer can be very frustrating with little or no order or organization to it.

The benefits include being a fun way to pray in groups without pressure to pray a lengthy prayer and helps to include everyone.  One way to make it more appealing to those who prefer more order is to start with a theme such as praise.  Let those “pops” of praise arise as the warmth of Holy Spirit fills the group!  You can then move on to a theme of requests, repentance or thanksgiving for specific issues.

A key to dynamic corporate prayer is being led by Holy Spirit in creative ways so that your meetings don’t sink down into stale routine.  Don’t be afraid to try new things as you are led, but remember to honor the different types of intercessors so they have a way to connect.

Independence Day Prayers

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God loves a good celebration!  I’m fascinated by the feasts He created for the Israelites to enjoy, appointed times to remember God’s goodness to them. As we near Independence Day, God delights in our celebration and remembrance of what He has done for us individually and what He did in forming our nation.

Take some time to ponder our history and how God has formed our country and sustained it through the years.  What makes us unique?  What gift are we meant to be to other nations?  How can we fulfill the destiny God has for us individually and as a country?

We also realize America is not where it should be.  We have the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 that remains as true today as when it was recorded, “If my people…will humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

As we celebrate and thank God for our freedoms, let’s also cry out to Him to heal our land!

Here’s a prayer from the only time congress convened on a fourth of July.

1861 (July 4), Senate Prayer

The following prayer was offered by Rev. Byron Sunderland, D.D.

Almighty and everlasting God, be not angry with us for our sins, which we only confess and deplore; but pardon our offenses and extend to us Thy favor. We thank Thee for Thy goodness on this anniversary of the nation a day tenfold more precious by reason of our present troubles, and sacred to the heart for the ever memorable Declaration of our fathers, in which Thou didst begin more openly to give us a name among the nations of the earth. We thank Thee for all Thy manifold and abundant mercies hitherto to make our nation exceedingly great and glorious; but now disasters have befallen us and darkness broods in the land. And now we ask Thy mercy as the Senate is convening at a most momentous crisis of our history. Give to Thy servants all needed help. Add to their deliberations wisdom and unanimity, and profit and speed to their conclusion. Bless Thy servant, the President of the United States, our veteran Commander-in- Chief, and all that have functions in the civil and military power. May the angel of Thy presence walk in the Cabinet and in the Congress and in the camp, to go before, to purify, and to direct the now greatly and universally-awakened love of country. And we beseech Thee to guide us, to overrule and order all things, and so to cause that nothing shall fail, that the disorders of the land may be speedily healed, that peace and concord may prevail, that truth and righteousness may be established, and that Thy Church and Kingdom may flourish in a larger peace and prosperity, for Thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. (Source: Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, first session, new series, 1, 4 July 1861.)

 

Inner Healing Prayer, Part Eight – Deliverance

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Many of us might fear the topic of deliverance, however, when we look at Jesus’ ministry (and the early church), deliverance was a natural part of it.  One aspect of Jesus’ (and our) commission is to “…set the captives free.”  (Isaiah 61:1) In some of Jesus’ last words to His disciples, He said that those who believe in Him would cast out demons (Mark 16:17).

People commonly ask, “Can a Christian be demon possessed?”   I believe the answer is no.  However, part of it is in the language we use.  Older translations use the words “demon possessed” but newer ones the more accurate word “demonized” indicating that Satan has a stronghold or foothold in that person’s life.  I believe the word “demonized” can apply to a Christian.

I personally don’t recommend deliverance outside of an inner healing process.  Often the demons got a foothold or stronghold from issues of unforgiveness, bitterness, from trauma (particularly a spirit of fear) or generational sins.  If these issues are not dealt with, it can open the door for the demons to return. (Matthew 12:43-45)

It’s not recommended to converse with or make demons manifest.  Simply binding them and then commanding them out in Jesus’ name is best.  You don’t need to know the “name” of a demon.  They are liars.  Ask Jesus to reveal anything you need to know.

If you need help, find someone who is walking in Jesus’ authority and has had experience with deliverance.

Here’s four steps from the book “Set Yourself Free” by Robert Heidler:

Crowd them out – Fill your life with Jesus

Starve them out – demons feed on works of the flesh/sin

Command them out – Exercise your authority in Christ

Stand your ground – “Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7

Sample Prayer for Self-Deliverance:  In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I come against you demonic spirits and I bind your activity in my life.  I declare that I have confessed and repented of every known sin, and that Jesus Christ has forgiven me.  I declare that Jesus is my Lord.  My life belongs to Him!  I confess that I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of the hand of the enemy!

Spirit of _______________, I speak directly to you.  The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed me and set me free from your oppression.  You have no legal right to touch me.  I drive you from my life now and I command you to leave in the name of Jesus!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that Your blood and Your authority have set me free! (Adapted from “Set Yourself Free” by Robert Heidler)